Black Iron Pipe Table




Introduction: Black Iron Pipe Table

About: “He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.”

I've been searching for the right project to my brand new tools to work. After searching for what seems like months I finally came across this post.

I knew I could build it and I knew I wanted to make this my first Instructables post. I hope you find it helpful and inspires you to build your own Black Iron Pipe Table.

Step 1: Tools

You aren't going to need much to create this awesome table.

Here is exactly what I used.

Drill:Ryobi 18-Volt One+

Circular Saw:Ryobi 18-Volt One+

Screws:Grip Rite - 1.5in Black Screws

Step 2: Building Materials

I thought I would be smart and ask the guys at Home Depot to take a bigger piece of black iron and cut it down to the different specifications I needed. Unfortunately I was informed that they can't cut pipes below a certain length, Whether that's true or not who knows.

On the bright side, they do carry pre-cut and threaded pipe at all the various lengths you are going to need. They also carry all the fittings and the wood you are going to need too.

Here is a breakdown of everything I used to build my table.


$36.88 (2 pieces) 2 in. x 12 in. x 12 ft. Better Douglas Fir Lumber cut in half. giving me four 6ft pieces


$18.60 (12 Total) 3/4 in. x 3 in. Black Steel Nipple

$15.48 (4 Total) 3/4 in. x 10 in. Black Steel Nipple

$23.64 (4 Total) 3/4 in. x 18 in. Black Steel Nipple

$15.58 (2 total) 3/4 in. x 24 in. Black Steel Nipple


$30.12 (12 Total) 3/4 in. Black Malleable Iron Threaded Floor Flange

$21.68 (8 Total) 3/4 in. Black Malleable Iron Threaded Tee

$ 8.28 (4 Total) 3/4 in. x 3/4 in. Black Malleable Iron 90-Degree Elbow

Total Cost of Materials: $170.26

Step 3: Layout and Fasten Your Boards Together

I used some old 1/2" wood we had in the garage

Step 4: Assemble the Pipe Legs

Screw the pipes together and attach the assembled legs to the upside-down table top. You might have to adjust the pipes for a bit to get a relatively level surface.

Step 5: Flip It and Sand It

Step 6: Congratulations You Have Yourself a New Table

This is where you can stain it and seal it, or use some Danish oil and seal it.

However you choose to finish your table is up to you. Which is part of the fun in building things like this.



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20 Discussions

I am about to make a coffee table but I am unsure what is the best thing to clean the black iron pipes with to get all the black resisue and grime off

1 reply

I'm building something similar with 1" black iron pipe. Seems as if most of my flat flanges are threaded a bit crooked. Is this possible? I had a plumber check my threads and he says they're perfect. Flanges aren't going on straight with the ends threaded by Home Depot. What should I do? Try some new flanges at the store and pick the best ones? Have you or anyone else here ran into this problem? Thanks.

1 reply

I have had this problem with every single trip to Home Depot/Lowes. The quality control on the flanges is absolutely horrible. The threading is 95% of the time not centered in the flange. Furthermore, the flange itself almost never sits flat. Made in China...

Ivar, that looks amazing. Great job! Scaffolding materials were a great idea.

Great! I'll do it, excelent job.

The 1/2" boards stretching the width of the table are called battens. I would definitely want more support for the table top boards at the ends, so would add battens there as well. 3-4" in from the end would work well. Better yet: 4 battens supporting the 8 top flanges would be perfect. Chamfer the ends of them as well.

Nice. Perhaps move the supports in to the location of the brace flanges to allow for end seating and eliminate the braces by adding a connecting pipe at the middle of the horizontals with a tee there: resulting in two 'H's connected by the pipe at the middle of the crossing bar. Traditional config.


I like this. But on the backside I would have ran a pipe the length of the table and used T fittings instead of elbows. Would add some structural integrity to the table.

3 replies

I was thinking that would be a good idea too, but because the fittings are all threaded, one of them would need to have a union fitting or you can't screw in one of the joints without unscrewing the joint at the other end of the pipe. :)

I am working on a bench seat for it next that is going to be using a union fitting. So that way the pipe can run the length of the bench. I'll post it too as soon as I get done =)

A brilliantly simple design.

Thank you so much.

One suggestion is to perhaps turn the side braces to aim closer to the center of the table so you don't bump into them with your knees when sitting at the sides of the table.
What I mean is, imagine the corner-to-corner diagonal lines of the table top. By moving the side braces and floor flanges toward those lines, while leaving the legs where they are, would eliminate the knee-bump issue—at least for the people sitting to the sides of the table.
The guys on the ends still may have the bump-the-bar challenge with their knees.

1 reply

Good concept. I like it.

As a desk or a dinner table, there are some minor drawbacks (that others have pointed out) but nothing that you couldn't live with for as long as you wanted.

If it's a stand-up work table, you probably won't bump your knees because 1) you'll be standing, 2) it will be taller (36~42") than a typical desk (30").

Although I will concede that if you use a bar stool, you still could whack your knee. ;) So Ricardo has a great point. Rotate the supports away from the edge and it's less likely. And the beauty of this design is that you can raise or lower the table by changing bits of pipe.

I realize that iron pipe is pretty rigid but to make it even more so, I would also recommend moving the bar that connects the legs from the top to the bottom. That way, if you need extra stability (as a workbench), you can drape a sandbag across the bar. It also eliminates the knee-knock on the end. The trade off there is that (as a dinner table,) chairs on the end won't tuck under. :\

clever bracing! I was wondering if you could just do the "flying buttress" brace on the back, leaving less knee hitting risk in the front? thoughts?

I love the industrial look of this table. And the great thing is that you can always change out the legs if you need a taller or shorter table. It turned out great!


3 years ago

love it.